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Bittersweet Fyah ~ A Reflection

May 23, 2012

I have had a fairly persistent habit of writing for personal reflection, which actually started since I was first in Barbados at the age of 6, while my dad was at UWI Cavehill. From that point, even if months passed, I always found myself back in front of a blank page musing over what life was offering. But sometimes there is internal resistance to reflection that is very real for me, and this is particularly so when I have the intention of sharing these thoughts. However, if this most recent trip to Barbados (almost 20 years later) has reinforced anything in my mind, it is that I am powerful beyond measure and that where I fall short there are many opportunities for collective support. So, the knowledge that many of my new sisters are taking to their keyboards to share their reflections of this past few days, gives me the backative to attempt to put words to some of my thoughts on #CatchAFyah.

I was honored to be selected to join the first ever Catch A Fyah grounding of young Caribbean feminists hosted by CODE RED a collective for gender justice. A special thank must go out to Tonya H. the main coordinator. It ended three days ago and I still don’t know how to begin to process all that came of out it. It felt almost cruel to bring together such incredible women from across the region for just two days. But of course funding is not infinite and despite its brevity it was rich rich rich. In fact, one of the most powerful reminders I walked away with, thanks to my new sister Amina D ( co-ordinator of FRIDA young feminist fund) was that money is not our only resource. This gathering was not a meeting, it was not a conference, it was a truly collective action in and of itself. We were the grounding, we facilitated, documented and shared knowledge. It made my whole being sing to have the honor of guiding us through a yoga practice. The whole gathering was non-hierarchical and full of love.

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It was bitter sweet to assess our situations, in the same way that I sometimes ignore organizing my tasks and projects because it seems so overwhelming. This particular kind of grounding would not really be crucial without the forces of domination and oppression that have become normalized over centuries globally. So coming together in love also means acknowledging the fear, hate and greed that seeks to keep us all divided fighting for the limited resources that are being handed out to us. But what can we do on our own, what have we already made claim to and created? So very much beauty, compassion and action on our own fronts. Ultimately, I am feeling that there is so much work to be done and I wish that I lived closer to this collective energy to support me in the process. But this is where the internet becomes an invaluable tool, not just to simple press “like” (as I believe my dear friend Zahra J. noted) and therefore feel like I have made a change.  Rather, really digging in taking time, seeing faces, hearing voices, sharing tools, discussing challenges but also sharing successes.

Perhaps the Catch A Fyah space in Barbados was full of more questions than answers but productive questioning is an energy I tend to feel is lacking here in Grenada sometimes. If you want to share in the questioning & the answering follow the trend #CatchAFyah on twitter or sign up here. We began brainstorming on:

-What are the key priorities as it relates to sexual and reproductive rights in the region?

-How can we better integrate the struggle for women’s rights with that that of LGBTQI rights?

-What really are the similarities between these forms of oppression?

-What is it that women and young people are seeking through christianity and how can it be found in perhaps more all-inclusive spaces focused on unity and equality?

-What kind of support do our individual initiatives and organizations need?

-What kind of support & resources can we offer each other?

-What kind of collective actions can we take trans-regionally?

-How do groundbreaking international initiatives affect our movements on the ground and how in fact can we support them and be supported by them?

You know, I still feel myself held back in this reflection. I still feel unresolved in so many ways. I still feel an ache in my heart for the new family that I can no longer sit with, dance with, practice yoga with and embrace. But my fyah is burning a little brighter, my spirit is feeling love and validation even now from across the sea.

We are a family of artists, activists, health care workers, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, agricultural workers, writers, mothers, sisters, girlfriends… we are fyah burning against all odds, across the sea.

Namaste,                                                                                                   Malaika

I am meant to be with those seeking to practice freedom
I am meant to be with clean water and good food
I am meant to be with peace of mind
I am meant to be with deep loving conversations with strangers
I am meant to nurture and be nurtured by people who carry similar visions
I am meant to be with my own superpowers, awake and necessary
I am meant to be with you.

~Excerpt from a poem by created by the participants in the Eye to Eye Webinar on Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. barefoot permalink
    May 23, 2012 12:43 am

    Will definitely register and add my voice to the collective. Glad that you felt so refreshed and inspired. Namaste.

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective permalink*
      May 23, 2012 12:54 am

      Please do! Your voice is so necessary in this dialogue.

  2. May 23, 2012 8:19 am

    The end of Catch a Fire has made me thankful that we live in the age of technology that we do. Even though the grounding is over we remain so connected through blogs, facebook, twitter. We can’t dance in the same way, we can’t practice yoga in the same way, or embrace each other in the same way but I know the energy is there… pulsating throughout the region.

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective permalink*
      May 23, 2012 12:50 pm

      so very true. it is there and it is growing.

Trackbacks

  1. Catchin’ Fyah Within: Reflecting on the Poetics of fyHER, powHER and Love |
  2. #CatchAFyah: The Virtual Experience in Words & Images « Feminist conversations on Caribbean life
  3. Fyah Friday! « Add Fyah And Stir

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